The master closet has become a sweet addition to the bedroom suite.
“The master closet doesn’t hide behind doors anymore,” says Ginny Snook Scott, California Closets vice president, based in Richmond, California. “Also called the closet en suite, this space is evolving into another room that is connected to the master bedroom and bathroom.”
Today’s master closet isn’t a subset of the bedroom; the closet en suite has become a large room unto itself. As a well-appointed pantry takes cooking tasks out of the kitchen, today’s master closet has a wardrobe system that dresses up the space, so you don’t have to get dressed in the bedroom.
“The master bedroom has become a space that is dedicated to sleep, with very little furniture, except for the bed and nightstands,” Scott says. “Built-in dressers, hanging rods and other cabinetry are custom-made into the master closet, based on the homeowners’ wardrobe and needs.”
Personalize: Scott says that no two master closets are the same, because its contents are very personal. Many are treating the closet en suite like a personal boutique on display, evolving from a catchall space into which people hurriedly throw items and quickly close sliding doors.
“When designing your closet, go through your wardrobe and pick pieces, such as handbags, scarves, ties or shoes, that make a statement about your style,” Scott says. “These items are showstoppers and can be a closet’s centerpiece, from which other design elements flow.”
Creating a Zen-like zone in the master closet means having a place for everything and keeping everything in its place. While this directly refers to garments and accessories, the master closet can also function as a multiuse room that helps organize your life, too.
Breakfast Bar: Skip breakfast in bed and make coffee in the master closet instead. More hectic households are building breakfast bars into their en suite designs. Stocked with conveniently located first-of-the-day packaged foods and a coffee station, this specialized area makes mornings easier for couples to grab a cup of joe and go.
Laundry: It’s time to air that dirty laundry. An organized laundry space in the master closet can transform a menial chore into a more meaningful task. Dirty clothes become clean more quickly, because there’s no need to carry laundry baskets to other parts of the home. After clothes are washed and dried, it’s a snap to put them away again in their designated space.
Home Office: As more adults have “homework,” setting up a desk in the master closet allows homeowners to both dress up and check up on work before starting the day.
Makeup Table: While the master bathroom is becoming more spa-like, the master closet is becoming the place for the makeup vanity. After the homeowner is perfectly coiffed, it’s easy to accessorize with jewelry, clothing and accessories stored nearby.
Cocktail Closet: More homeowners are raising a glass to toasting personal wine refrigerators built into the master closet. Like a fine wine, spirits’ storage in the master closet reflects personal taste.
Categorize: After larger, multi-use spaces are accommodated in the master closet, begin to categorize similar items by hanging or shelving them together. Marked drawers are also useful during this first step of organizing.
Most-used items should be placed at eye level, with lesser-used items — such as luggage — placed in a closet’s upper shelf storage space. Start by categorizing items from the ground up and keeping items off the floor.
Containerize: After organizing similar items, the final step is to group smaller items together. Place like items in baskets or see-through containers with lids, then place these in the appropriate shelving unit, drawer or cubby space. Jewelry can be organized on velvet-lined trays in drawers, or tucked away in a safe.
Scott says while it’s easiest to build a custom closet en suite with new construction, homeowners can also convert an extra bedroom into the closet of their dreams. With nearly 80 California Closet locations throughout the United States, Scott says homeowners can pay from $1,500 to $100,000 to revamp the repository.
“The higher-end closets have really glamorous lighting with shelving units, shoe racks and hanging rods that are well lit,” she says.
But even the best organizational guru can’t perform magic on a monumental mess without first clearing away the clutter. Some people have difficulty starting the process of clearing out, so they can never move into the organizational phase, Scott says.
“It’s not our job to make people get rid of things,” Scott says. “As people make room and proudly display items they love in their closet, it becomes easier to let unused things go.”